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5.8.20 Sabbath

Friday used to be my sabbath. As a pastor I work Sundays, and some Saturdays. Friday has been the day when–even though I often have found myself engaged in some aspect of work small or not so small–I also discovered some space to breathe, to read, to catch up on things.

And so my body and spirit long for that breath. Perhaps, you too, are missing some important space in your heart and schedule to let go. You feel it in some lost activity that you formerly had that now feels wildly luxurious.

And, oh, how much more intentional I find I must be in this time. How I am sinking when my soul is not tended. How hapless I feel when suddenly I have unexpected moments to myself absent from the requests of my children. If they sense that I am not available and they have a perceived need, they quickly resort to chaos.

By some miracle it took something like 55 days in quarantine, but finally my son shouted today: “You are the worst, rudest mom ever!”  And my sabbath self said: “Retreat. Go.” And my mechanical arms instead cut his little celery bites and spread the peanut butter with the little knife and sprinkled raisins because he loves to pretend they are ants.

And I write into the night. As the rain flows. I think back to the quiet moments walking I did muscle into the morning before my husband logged into work. I recall counting the nickels with my children. They determined how much they would spend on a new toy, and then they gave generously into their share bucket, ready to share it with the church.

And I realize that often my yearning for sabbath leads me here to the keyboard. As I recount the days, the joy moments…and as I listen attentively to what new wisdom from today I have not yet learned. I find that it emerges when I start to type.  I give my little bit of offering and lift it up to the Spirit. I open myself for the restoration of the Spirit.

I imagine you on the other side wading through your own worries. I imagine us together looking avidly for signs of hope emerging. I give over unto rest, hoping that tomorrow will come with a little more space to exhale. And I can truly imagine it for you and for me.

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“The Sabbath is the most precious present mankind has received from the treasure house of God. All week we think: The spirit is too far away, and we succumb to spiritual absenteeism, or at best we pray: Send us a little of Thy spirit. On the Sabbath the spirit stands and pleads: Accept all excellence from me …”― Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath 

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Rev. Claire Matheny View All

Pastor | Kittamaqundi Community Church | Columbia, Maryland

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